Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Need Thee Every Hour

Ps. 18:1-3 "I will Love you, O lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer: My God, my strength in whom I will trust; My sheild and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies."

David had it right. He realized that he couldn't do anything without God. He realized that he needed God with him every hour. We're all familiar with the hymn "I Need Thee Every Hour" - But the message of this song couldn't be any more truthful. When we think that we can get by without the aid of our Lord, we've become greatly mistaken. We need God each and everyday in our lives. Without Him, we can do nothing.

Next time you pray, tell God how thankful you are that He is in your life. Also, tell Him that you couldn't do anything without Him and that you need His help everyday.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Suffering For Right and Wrong

1 Peter 3:15; "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meakness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than doing evil."

This passage reminds us of the importance of always being ready to talk to others about Christ. One of the reasons that we DON'T talk about Christ more often is because we feel we don't know enough and don't want to risk somebody asking us a question that we don't know. - Well, this is something that we need to fix! This verse is teaching us that we need to ALWAYS be ready to give an answer to somebody who asks. When somebody asks us WHY we believe WHAT we believe - we need to be ready to give them an answer!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

We Have An Anchor

Hebrews 6:19; "This hope we have as anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil."

As our world changes so quickly and times get hard, people start to have a hard time holding on to hope. It's easy to worry. It's easy to stress out. However, we have something that we need to be reminded of - our anchor that is firmly grounded.

The Lord is our anchor and will never ever move. He's a steadfast and immovable God and we can always hold on to him.

As others around us show signs of losing "hope," let us take that opportunity to show them how happy they will be when they find that hope again in our God - the anchor.

Monday, January 18, 2010

What Does it Profit a Man...

MARK 8:34; "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."

What a passage! I read this passage in Mark 8 about 3 or 4 times tonight - just letting it sink in. There's so much here in this passage that we need to take to heart. So many people in this world struggle with the question of, "Why are we here? What is the purpose of us being here?" Luckily, we as Christians know why we were put on this earth and what our purpose is here - however, it's easy for even us to lose sight of that purpose. It's extremely easy to get caught up with the cares of this world. Everybody wants the best jobs, houses, cars - well, simply, everybody wants money. BUT... As Jesus says here - "What does it profit if a man gains the whole world and loses his own soul?" If everybody in the world read this verse to themselves at the beginning of each day and the close of each day, we'd live in a much happier world. THINGS don't matter. MONEY doesn't matter... Our souls DO matter.

This verse really all comes down to priorities. We need to always make sure our priorities are just how they should be. This is a daily task and it's very important to not overlook it . For, as the verse says, we don't want Jesus to be ashamed of US when He comes back....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Some Steps to Help Us Avoid Sin

Everyday we're faced with temptation from the devil. Sometimes it's easier to resist Satan's temptation than other times. But somedays he gets us when we're feeling weak and then he causes us to stumble.

Sin is the only thing that separates us from God. - And there are some ways that we can stay out of it.

1) We have to remember to make God's word a part of our life. God has given us the wonderful blessing of being able to look to His word whenever we want. Unfortunately, we don't do it as much as we should. His Word has the answer to every problem that we could possibly encounter in our life - and we need to take advantage of being able to study it.

2) We have to remember the danger of flirting with sin. In addition to that, we need to remember that God is always watching us. Sometimes we do things because we feel God can't see us... When you're tempted to sin, do you think about the fact that God knows and will see what you're about to do?

3) We have to remember that sin carries a price. Sin can do bad things to us - it can wound us. It carries a price even when it doesn't destroy us. Just because our actions don't have immediate consequences, doesn't mean they're going unnoticed by the Lord.

Try your hardest to follow these steps in order to resist sin in your life. We'll feel much better after we resist temptation than how we would have felt if we had given into it.

Are You Ready?

We do not know when the Lord will come back - for He shall come as a "thief in the night." - We don't know the time nor the date when this is going to happen. This is something that we all definitely know and have read about already. However, it's good to have a reminder every once and a while (or everyday) that this could happen at any moment.

If the Lord came back today, are you living your life the way you should be living it? Do you have sins that you need to repent of or business you need to take care of? Think about everyday as the possibility of being your last - and let that thought be reflected in your life. The coming of the Lord could happen at any time - do we fully realize this?

Let us not be ashamed of what we're doing when He comes back.

*Everyday that the Lord DOESN'T come back, is an opportunity for us to save more souls!*

Monday, January 11, 2010

Giving God Our Time

How we chose to spend our time is completely our choice. We need to realize that everything belongs to God. Time is a gift from God;

James 4:13-15 "Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."

Everyday is a beautiful gift from God. God has set time in its place and He is the master of time - He gave it and He can take it right away. Sometimes we view time as a burden and not a blessing. We become burdened with the things that really don't matter at all. We need to focus our time and energy on the things that really matter - like glorifying and pleasing God.

Sin makes us spiritually sleepy and Paul tells us in Romans 13:11 to "Wake up! Because time is fleeting and salvation is closer than when we first believed." Living a life of sin takes too much of our precious time. Live for the Lord.

You know what's sad? - Over a lifetime of 70 years, we spend only 1 year in worship. We need to order our life and get our priorities in line. Get Satan out and arrange your life to make God your top priority!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Satan That Never Sleeps

Its easy for us to forget that when things go well for us - there is someone who is upset and wants to bring us down... 1 John 5:19 - Satan doesn't just sit back and watch God's work be done.

As Christians, Satan is always going to try to bring us down. He wants us to do evil and he wants us to turn away from God. As Christians, we need to always be on our guard against this.

There are so many ways that Satan will try to get to us. He knows our "weak" areas and that's always where he starts. But he also knows the areas that we are strong in - and tries to attack us in those areas. The danger is that we tend to neglect those areas. But we have to remember the warning, "Let he who thinks he stands take heed - lest he fall."

As Christians we have to constantly be on our guard and remember that Satan never rests - he is always trying to bring people down. Watch out for him.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Maintaining Our Salt

While Jesus is giving His sermon on the mount, He tells us that we are to be shining lights in the world and the salt of the earth.

We have an influence on people whether we know it or not. We need to realize that we have the power to change the world that we're living in. We have the responsibility to be the light in this dark world. People are looking for spiritual illumination - are we there to give it to them?

Why is it important for us to always let our light shine? Well, if we do, when people have questions about religious matters, they will most likely come to us. Our actions should always be glorifying our Father in Heaven.

Even when we are having bad days or we're not "at our best," we always have to be mindful of our character because, whether we know it or not, we are influencing others.
Don't lose your salt - always try to be a light in the world.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pursuing Gold

As you know, the winter Olympics are right around the corner. All the athletes that participate in the Olympics want the gold medal. So in return, all the athletes have great discipline. If you're going to succeed in anything, you have to have great discipline. If we're going to succeed spiritually we have to discipline ourselves and pray and study every day.

There are a few things we should try and do:

1) We need to raise the bar for ourselves. If we want to feel a sense of accomplishment, we have to raise that bar and discipline ourselves. We live in a maze of mediocrity where everybody settles for less - don't have a settled state of mind! Paul didn't run with any uncertainty (Phil. 3:14)

2) We need to learn pain before pleasure. Hebrews 11:24 says;

"It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin."

In the moment, all discipline SEEMS painful - but later it yields a great reward.

3) We need to learn to consider BEFORE crisis occurs. We need to learn how to make advanced decisions. You don't get to do it over again - you only have one chance. If we wait till we're in the moment, it will be so much harder to resist temptation. Foolish decisions trap us in a dead end (Gal. 5:22-24)

As Christians, we should be striving for spiritual "gold" each and every day. But in order to reach that gold, we have to learn to discipline ourselves.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Just Preach Jesus

What does it mean to "Just Preach Jesus?" - The Apostles did nothing else but preach Jesus.
Acts 8:35 tells us, "Then Philip opened his mouth... AND HE PREACHED JESUS."

Sometimes, when we think of trying to lead others to Christ, we get a little overwhelmed with what we need to teach them - so it causes us to not teach at all. But when it comes down to it, it's simple. We just need to preach Jesus. When we preach Jesus, we preach everything that is necessary for salvation.

Preaching Jesus results in belief - whole hearted belief. The kind of belief that changes lives. So when we have the opportunity to teach others, we need not be overwhelmed - we just need to focus on preaching Jesus.

We can preach Jesus even through our actions - We are Christians named after Jesus Christ. When others look at us, they need to see Jesus Christ living in us.